Legal Services of New Jersey
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Legal Services in the News


11/21/16: 2016 Annual Legal Services Conference

11/16/16: Why Some Asylum Seekers Find Detention — Not Freedom — in New Jersey (from NJSpotlight) - Immigrants fleeing their home countries can spend years in detention in New Jersey before their fates are decided — and then face deportation.

10/26/16: Senator Raymond Lesniak and Community Leaders Hold Press Conference to Announce "Free Informational Expungement Seminar" (from TAP into Elizabeth) - An informational seminar about how to expunge criminal records was announced at a press conference attended by Sen. Raymond Lesniak, Linden Mayor Derek Armstead, Roselle Mayor Christine Dansereau, and other community leaders at the Linden and Roselle Community Center, on Tuesday afternoon.

10/24/16: State unsympathetic when student borrowers die before repaying debt (from - After sending condolences on the loss of your child or the illness or accident that resulted in your permanent disability, the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority starts sending bills and collection notices, soon followed by lawsuits.

09/15/16: Children in poverty remains a problem in New Jersey, & USA (from - Nearly half of children in the United States live dangerously close to the poverty line, according to research from Columbia University and the latest Census findings about poverty in New Jersey show little local improvement.

09/15/16: The Daily Number - 10.8% (from NJSpotlight) - There were 946,000 New Jerseyans living in poverty in 2015, about 10.8 percent of the population.

09/15/16: Report finds poverty in NJ declining. But is it really? (from New Jersey 101.5) - A new U.S. Census Bureau report finds many states, including New Jersey, saw a decrease in poverty rates between 2014 and 2015.

09/12/16: Consumer Advocates Pledge to Bring More People Under ACA Umbrella (from NJSpotlight) - Leaders of the NJ for Health Care Coalition, a statewide advocacy group of nonprofits, labor unions, advocacy groups, and provider organizations, are recommitting to a new round of battles to improve the ACA.

09/07/16: How an old criminal charge cost a Cumberland college grad her dream (from The Press of Atlantic City) - For the last two years, Jeannie Garcia was living her dream. After losing her job and making the decision to go back to college in 2014, she threw herself into life at Cumberland County College, serving on the Student Senate, acting as a student representative on the Presidential Search Committee and working part time at the college as a receptionist, then student mentor and tutor.

08/22/16: Palisades Park residents want Korean-language interpreters at town meetings (from - Language interpreters can be found in municipal court and in hospitals. And law enforcement officers in North Jersey have access to language interpreter services via telephone when conducting their work.

08/22/16: Borough with large Korean population considers interpreters (from NJ 101.5) - A borough in northern New Jersey where more than half of the residents are of Korean heritage is considering hiring interpreters for public meetings.

08/08/16: Legislators Take Aim at New Jersey Student Loan Program’s Tough Tactics (from The New York Times) - Almost a dozen people with harrowing experiences with New Jersey’s controversial student loan program testified on Monday before state lawmakers, detailing its aggressive collection tactics and onerous terms that some said had ruined them financially.

08/08/16: NJ legislators take first step to revamp "predatory" student loans (from The Press of Atlantic City) - State legislators took the first step Monday toward revamping a state-run college student-loan program that parents said is inflexible, predatory and has driven families into bankruptcy.

07/05/16: New Jersey's Student Loan Program is 'State-Sanctioned Loan-Sharking' (from NBC10 Philadelphia) -The loans have extraordinarily stringent rules, aggressive collections and few reprieves, even for borrowers who’ve died. The head of the loan agency was appointed by Gov. Chris Christie.

07/04/16: New Jersey's student loan program is 'state-sanctioned loan-sharking' (from Philly Voice) - The state lends with extraordinarily stringent rules that can easily lead to financial ruin, a ProPublica investigation shows.

07/03/16: In New Jersey Student Loan Program, Even Death May Not Bring a Reprieve (from The New York Times) -After her son was killed, Marcia DeOliveira-Longinetti was able to get the remaining balance of his federal student loans written off. But the New Jersey state agency that had also lent her son money told her, “Your request does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness.”

07/01/16: Nine families reunited in emotional gathering (from - Legal Services of N.J. celebrates Family Reunification Day as children are returned to the custody of their parents.

07/01/16: Family Reunification Day honors parents who got right, got kids back (from from - She was a new mother, 18 years old and addicted to drugs, when child welfare authorities stepped in.

06/23/16: N.J.'s stagnant welfare grants could rise for 1st time since 1987 (from - The last time state lawmakers raised the value of the welfare grant New Jersey families receive each month was in 1987 – the same year Fox News debuted in prime-time, doctors began prescribing Prozac and televangelist Jim Bakker's sex scandal dominated TV and tabloid headlines.

06/23/16: N.J. Democrats unveil their $34.8B budget (from - Democratic lawmakers set up another budget showdown with Governor Christie on Thursday, unveiling a $34.8 billion spending plan that is roughly $300 million bigger than what the governor has offered.

06/23/16: N.J. Dems introduce $34.8B budget with more money to fight poverty (from - Democrats on Thursday unveiled their state budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year that boosts anti-poverty spending and clips some of Chris Christie's initiatives.

06/01/16: Limits Place Thousands in Montco, Bucks, Chesco at Risk of Losing Food Assistance (from NBC10 Philadelphia) - Time limits for SNAP went into effect in Pennsylvania June 1, putting thousands at risk. In New Jersey, thousands more will be at risk soon.

05/18/16: Disabled lawyer fed up with N.J. para-transit system finds another way (from - Civil rights attorney Daniel Florio of Maplewood graduated last fall with a master's degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University – an achievement he hoped would open many doors leading to a promising career.

05/13/16: Interactive Map: New Jersey Gets Healthier Thanks to Affordable Care Act (from NJSporlight) - Residents across state mostly see gains in health insurance coverage, with poorest New Jerseyans making significant increases.

04/25/16: New Law Makes Expunging Records Easier (from NJTVNews) - Around 10,000 New Jerseyans cycle in and out of the Department of Corrections every year. Far more are living with a conviction on their public record.

04/18/16: Law to clear some criminal records begins in New Jersey (from Newsworks) - A new law taking effect Monday gives thousands of New Jersey residents the opportunity to clear their criminal records.

04/18/16: In N.J., some offenders can erase record faster now (from - under a state law that takes effect Monday, people such as Galindo could have a faster path to clearing their names.

04/18/16: Some New Jersey Offenders Can Have Records Cleared Quicker (from NBC 10 Philadelphia) - A new New Jersey law that cuts the amount of time convicts have to wait to have their criminal records cleared for some offenses went into effect Monday.

04/18/16: Some New Jersey offenders can have records expunged sooner (from The Trentonian) - A new New Jersey law that cuts the amount of time convicts have to wait to have their criminal records cleared for some offenses went into effect Monday.

04/17/16: Expungement law changes take effect Monday (from The Courier-Post) - Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ) is bracing for what is expected to be a flood of inquiries from people with prior arrests or criminal convictions as a new law takes effect Monday — opening the door for thousands of more New Jerseyans to get their criminal records expunged.

04/17/16: Legal Services of New Jersey expects expungement excitement (from - Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ) is bracing for what is expected to be a flood of inquiries from people with prior arrests or criminal convictions as a new law takes effect tomorrow (April 18) — opening the door for thousands of more New Jerseyans to get their criminal records expunged.

04/17/16: New law will help many in New Jersey clear nonviolent criminal record (from New Jersey 101.5) - A new expungement law that would clear an individual’s criminal record of certain nonviolent offenses takes effect Monday, and legal experts expect many in the state to take advantage of it.

04/04/16: New push to keep seniors in home, community-based programs (from The San Diego Union-Tribune) - The federal government is pushing states to keep more low-income seniors out of nursing homes and, instead, enroll them in home and community-based programs.

03/24/16: Thousands Who Need Housing Assistance Fall through Tear in Safety Net (from NJSpotlight) - Governor’s go-ahead sought to help very poor who have chronic need for help with housing.

03/23/16: Lawmakers Hear Pleas for More State Funding for Transit, Schools, Cities (from NJSpotlight) - Residents of New Jersey’s cities need better schools, improved public transportation and more state funding for services like legal aid and lead abatement. In more rural and less affluent South Jersey, there have been calls for more state money for land preservation and affordable housing, while throughout the state residents have been asking for increased aid for K-12 school districts.

03/17/16: Facing hunger here in New Jersey (from the Catholic Star Herald) - Theresa Robinson worked all her life. As a single mother, she worked up to three jobs at a time to support her three children. She worked full-time as a paralegal at a legal services program for 43 years, supplementing her income with part-time jobs.

02/14/16: The minimum wage needs a boost, but $15 may be a bridge too far | Editorial (from - New Jersey's minimum wage is $8.38, and if you believe you can raise a family or run a household on $17,400 a year, you've probably never tried it. But while it's safe to say the wage floor needs a substantial boost, a real debate must begin over how high and how soon this hike can be imposed.

02/09/16: New Jersey Democrats: Under Obama, Poverty has Increased 40% in the Garden State (from the Shore News Network) - In a release issued today by the New Jersey Assembly Democrat, more New Jersey residents are in poverty than have been since 2008, when President Obama was elected. In fact, poverty in the Garden State has risen by 40% since Obama’s inauguration, according to the release. New Jersey Democrats have maintained a voting majority in both the New Jersey state senate and assembly during this period.

02/05/16: EDITORIAL: Be realistic on minimum-wage hike (from - The $15 minimum wage bandwagon is now rolling through the Garden State, as Assembly Democratic leaders John Wisniewski and Speaker Vincent Prieto have formally proposed an increase to the $15-an-hour level in New Jersey. That would nearly double the current minimum wage of $8.38.

02/01/16: In Christie's absence, N.J. lawmakers tackle poverty (from - Leaders from both parties have blown the cap off our state's business incentives program in a mad effort to show they're doing something — anything! — to create jobs.

01/30/16: Trenton's anti-poverty agenda has uncertain price tag (from the Press of Atlantic City) - New Jersey Democratic lawmakers have embarked on an ambitious agenda to fight poverty, but the price tag to taxpayers is uncertain.

01/30/16: New anti-poverty agenda has an uncertain price tag (from the New Jersey Herald via Press of Allantic City) - New Jersey Democratic lawmakers have embarked on an ambitious agenda to fight poverty, but the price tag to taxpayers is uncertain.

01/28/16: N.J. should be 'embarrassed' by high poverty rate, Assembly speaker says (from - Providing pre-school for all children. Raising the minimum wage and guaranteeing a few paid sick days a year. Eliminating "the bureaucratic mess" that prevents low-income people from accessing the assistance programs created for them.

01/28/16: Why is New Jersey's Poverty Rate So High? (from WNYC) - Insufficient funding or poor management of state programs in seemingly disparate areas -- including welfare, job training, aid for the disabled, food stamps, child care, affordable housing, and mass transit -- has allowed high levels of poverty to persist in New Jersey and stymied families’ efforts improve their lives, legislators and advocates said yesterday.

01/21/16: Assembly Speaker Launches New Initiative as NJ Poverty Rate Climbs to Record High (from NJ Spotlight) - Prieto’s announcement applauded by advocates of poor, but some Republicans assert reducing property taxes on middle class is also important.

01/20/16: NJ Assembly speaker announces anti-poverty initiative (from the Burlington County Times) - Calling the numbers of New Jersey residents living in poverty "embarrassing," Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced Wednesday that four legislative committees will meet next week to try to devise ways for the state to tackle the issue.

01/20/16: Assembly Speaker to push fight against record-high poverty in N.J. (from - Alarmed by a report that found more New Jersey residents are living in poverty now than over the last 50 years, state Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto said he would hold hearings next week to identify new ways lawmakers could address the problem.

01/20/16: Assembly Speaker: NJ’s poverty rate is embarrassing (from New Jersey 101.5) - Poverty is still a very real problem in the Garden State, according to Assembly Speaker Vinnie Prieto.